Step 3 (Continued)
(Begin Side A of
C: But if God directs my thinking, and if my decisions become
better, and my actions become better, then my life is going to become
better. I think that all I'm really trying to do in Step Three is to turn
this thinking apparatus over to God in the hopes that my actions and my
life will become better in the future. In this Step, I'm just making a
decision to turn it over. I'm not going to turn it over, but I'm going to
decide to try to turn it over. Joe.
J: As Charlie said, Step Three is a beginning, and it's a
process of turning it over. The way we take the actions of turning our
life over to the care of God is actually in Steps Four, Five, Six, Seven,
Eight and Nine. This is the way we turn it over. Step Three is a decision
to carry out those actions. In the word decision, we can see how this
thing is so intricately put together. The word decision comes from the
(same word as the) word dissect, which means to cut in two, or to choose.
He's said over and over when alcoholic we have two choices, two Steps.
we've got the first two Steps then we can cut in two and decide which one
we want. We can decide which one we want, and if you're an alcoholic we
have but two alternatives. (p. 25, par. 4, and p. 44, par. 2) It ain't no
tough decision, because you ain't got but two ways to go. (laughter) You
know, if we had ten it would be a hard decision, but there ain't but two
things you can do. (laughter)
Number one: we've been there. We are powerless, lack of power, the
problem, the physical allergy and the mental obsession. And two: the
solution is power, the power of the fellowship, and the Power of the
spiritual experience. We can--we're standing at the turning point. We have
but two choices.
The word decision means to choose a course of action. We can choose a
course of action, based on the first two Steps. We have facts. It means to
cut facts in two. For the first time in our lives we have a choice. We can
choose between Step One or Step Two. Now, as Charlie says, this is a
decision. If we choose Step One, then there is a price we have to pay. He
says, make a decision. If we take this decision, we have to turn over our
will, (which) is our thinking, and our lives (which is our actions). This
is the price we have to pay if we choose Step Two.
Now he says, you know, as Charlie says, self-will is a very difficult
thing, it's a very small word, very difficult, I think, to get over: what
is self-will? I had a lot of problems. I didn't understand it. I was like
Charlie. When I first came to A. A., I did not like this idea of
turning--I just said, I ain't turning my life over to God. (It) didn't say
that, but that's what I thought it said. Because I had aversions to that.
I wasn't worried (like Charlie was). I didn't thing God wanted me for a
missionary anyway. (laughter)
I didn't have no fear of that. My greatest fear was at that time, I
don't know why I had it, but I--you know we all have these little funny
things. You know how crazy alcoholics are. I was always worried (that) if
I turned my will and my life over to the care of God, I knew he was going
to put me in the Salvation Army Band. (laughter) I (could) just see
myself, playing that cornet in that band.
Now I can look back of that and laugh. I travel a lot, and I'm always
observing things. I always look at the Salvation Army Band. I've never
seen a black guy in the Salvation Army Band. (laughter) That ain't our
kind of music. (laughter) But I can understand our will, and the word
we can understand the word someplace else, and bring it back (it would
help us). Where do we understand it? When a person dies he leaves a will,
I know what that means. That is (when) the person is alive, and when he
has a certain amount of money and material things that he wants given away
to other people after he dies. So while he's alive he writes out a set of
directions that he wants to dispense his wealth.
call that set of directions his will. So the will is a set of directions
that a person writes out. Once he dies the family rushes him out to the
graveyard, rushes back, and gets this piece of paper out. (laughter) Now
that he's gone, they want to carry out his directions. That's what a will
is a (sat of) directions. That's the same thing that we have.